"Beast" became the third most-capped Springbok (behind Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana), the most capped prop, made the most appearances for a South African Vodacom Super Rugby team (159) and won the Rugby World Cup (2019), Tri-Nations (2009), Castle Lager Rugby Championship (2019), a series against the British & Irish Lions (2009) and the Currie Cup (2008, 2010 and 2013).
The 34-year-old, whose ball carries led to affectionate chants of "Beast" in stadiums around the world, was a standout performer as the Springboks defeated England 32-12 to lift the Webb Ellis Cup in Yokohama on Saturday, the last of his 117 Tests.
Many wore replica green and gold shirts and waved national flags as they celebrated the rugby triumph which was all the sweeter after poor recent results by the national football and cricket teams.
"In Japan, we got a glimpse of the support back home, but this reception is something else - we can't begin to thank everyone for backing us throughout this journey", said Kolisi. I'm sure it was my dad's dream to take me to these places, but he didn't have the means. "I don't have a lot of words. They must not think we are stupid - we can see they are trying to divide us".
"Thank you South Africa for adopting me as a son".
"A few years ago, we were languishing low down on the world rankings, but we are number one now - for the first time in 10 years - and walked away with an armful of accolades at the recent World Rugby Awards".
And in keeping with Kolisi's well-documented rise from Zwide to World Cup winning captain, he said: "Anything can be overcome with opportunity".
This year's lineup included six non-white players, including Kolisi.
Kolisi said that his upbringing was anything but a walk in the park or a bed of roses, adding that the circumstances of everyday South Africans trying to achieve their goals was what propelled the team to win.
South Africa also won the World Cup in France in 2007.